Ginza Stylist – Koji Ukai



Do you know the suitable color or fashion for you? Let me ask you more exactly, do you know the best matching color or fashion style in which you can be looked most attractive?
The boutique Ginza Stylist is located at the 8th floor of the building, just next to the Kabuki Theatre, in the west of Ginza, Tokyo. The owner Koji Ukai explains his job at the salon, “Everyone has his/her own taste of fashion. They believe, in most of the cases, their favorite colors or shapes of the clothes are the best match for them. And, of course, they go to their favorite brand shop to buy their special fashion items. My role is to shut out such belief in my clients, and then offer the best fashion where he or she will be looked most attractive by drawing up 120 percent of charm from them.” He continues, “Finding someone’s charm 100 percent is not accomplishment of my goal. It has to be 120 percent absolute individuality that I have to propose, by doing so I could finally say that my mission has completed.”
Everyone knows the color combination of gray and navy or white and black can suit him/her. This can be called a golden rule of fashion that even a person who has no such preference on colors can trust. If you are not confident enough to select your color, you may pick up a white shirt as that is the safest choice. If you wear a red tie, you look passionate; while with a blue tie you appear to be intelligent. If you a woman who wears boring but not offending color of suits, such as blue or navy, you can put on accessories or scarves to present yourself more fashionable.
These are not wrong ideas. However if you once have a consultation with Mr. Ukai, you will realize that they are just assumptions you have been making automatically. Let me introduce the work of Koji Ukai. When you open the door of Ginza Stylist, you may be shocked as his salon has no showcases of suits, shirts, blouses, and ties. But only a big mirror welcomes you. The shop is by advance reservation only. Ukai accepts the clients only during the day hours when the sunlight reflects the town of Ginza getting into the shop. This is, of course, to analyze the best matching colors for a client.
General tailors show clients the color samples first and let their clients choose their favorite, following the next step to measure client’s body size prior to ordering their clothes. This is the process on which most tailors spend the time. However in case of Ukai, he would rather spend a certain amount of time in front of a big mirror that reflects his client’s figure. He guides his client to seat on a chair before mirror and starts analyzing the colors suitable to him/her.
The colors can be categorized into four groups, the spring, the summer, the autumn, and the winter. Ukai carefully observe the client’s face reflected on mirror, opening his eyes really wide that maybe too much for him to do. This is necessary process to judge the client’s color of skin, cheeks, eyes, and hair, the over-all tendency. If I try to explain the color grouping as simple as possible, someone who has pink cheeks must have base color tone, yellow or blue, under his top skin color. In case that they select pink polo shirts and put on red jackets, yellow based skin color clients can look nice in a salmon pink polo shirt, while blue based skin color clients look better with rose pink. For jackets, the salmon pink group can appeal them more with orange red ones, while the rose pink group should wear wine red jackets for the best effect. Even pink or red color group can be divided into two color tone bases, blue and yellow. If someone has cheeks with blue based color tone, the color group he/she belongs is highly likely to be the summer or winter. As opposed to this, someone with yellow based color cheeks may belong to the spring or autumn color group.
Koji Ukai does not judge his client’s color subjectively, but he analyzes it in objective way. He uses textiles of one hundred twenty colors for the analysis. He continuously applies each color of textile to his client’s chest in a room of Ginza Stylist drenched with sunlight. He narrows down the suitable color for his clients, confirming which textile color is the best matches to the client’s cheeks, skin, eyes, and hair.
You should recognize that a color of gray does not always have neutral effect. Even you can’t select the gray color in its contrasting thickness. Neither does navy. In textiles the color, gray or navy, is hiding its seasonal color tone behind surface. Not everyone can look passionate with a red tie. For example, there is a certain risk for a person with yellow based skin color that he may show him weaker and pessimistic when wearing a wine red color tie. The seasonal color tone does not reflect only brightness and darkness in a color chart. It thoroughly analyzes which red, blue, scarlet, green, gray, purple, and brown can draw client’s attractiveness from each color group.
An artificial light may cause errors in judgment for analyzing such seasonal color tone. Fully recognizing this, Ukai extracts the suitable color groups for his clients under sunshine. After completing this color selection work, he finally starts styling his client’s fashion. The five basic items are suit, shirt, tie, belt, and shoes. Ukai basically tailors the clothes with full order made style, where no materials prepared from the beginning, though he occasionally accepts the pattern made order with reasonable price setting. The price starts from five hundred thousand yen for full order made of five items. I would rather thought it’s cheaper since I have been paying the same amount of bills for my suits.
So, how he analyze the fashion style of his clients? I will introduce it to you in Part 2.



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